TRAVERSE CITY — Two plus two is now one.
Four months after the Michigan Center for Holistic Medicine was formed, the practice has expanded to Traverse City and Frankfort.
Abigail Ellwsorth’s Sleeping Bear Natural Health merged into company on Sept. 1. The merger creates additional services in the two northern Michigan communities.
The move comes after the Michigan Center for Functional Medicine in Lansing — operated by Dr. Andrea McSwain — and Grand Rapids Natural Health — under the direction of Kelly Peterson — merged in May to create the Michigan Center for Holistic Medicine.
Sleeping Bear Natural Health merged into the new company on Sept. 1.
“I think we’re elevating all of the kinds of services we can provide with the different expertise of the providers,” said Ellsworth, who started Sleeping Bear Natural Health in October of 2015.
McSwain is the owner, CEO and medical director of the renamed business. She is a doctor of osteopathic medicine.
Ellsworth and Peterson are naturopathoic doctors, which Peterson said is not a recognized licensed profession in Michigan despite graduation from a four-year accredited school. With integrative cardiologist Dr. Dave Johnson continuing to offer services in Traverse City and Grand Rapids, each of the providers brings something a little different to the table at Michigan Center for Holistic Medicine.
“Functional medicine is the training that Dr. McSwain has,” Peterson said in summation. “Abigail and myself are naturopathic physicians and Dr. Johnson adds the integrative cardiologist component. We feel that holistic medicine encompasses all of them.”
The three women worked together long before the mergers this year.
Ellsworth said she and Peterson have had a working relationship for about six years.
They went to school together and Ellsworth followed Peterson as the president of the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
“We’ve been trying to figure out how to work more collaboratively over the last couple of years,” Ellsworth said. “It’s been really clear we could work together a little more. The only thing that stood in our way was distance.”
McSwain and Peterson worked out of Grand Rapids together for a year before the merger.
“For us it was really about continuing our passion, our goals and where we wanted to go as practices,” said Peterson, who opened her Grand Rapids practice in 2012. “It made sense to go forward together rather than trying to reach those goals separately.”
“I never wanted to work as an island in either Traverse City or Frankfort,” Ellsworth added.
The Traverse City portion of Ellsworth’s practice is located at 3180 Racquet Club Dr, Suite B. The Frankfort location is at 218 7th St.
Current Michigan Center for Holistic Medicine services in northern Michigan include naturopathic medicine, integrative cardiology, acupuncture, platelet rich plasma and microneddling.
Peterson, who operates as the chief operating officer, said a medical spa “is a week away” in northern Michigan that will add services such as intravenous therapies and nutrient injections, ozone and ultraviolet light therapies and organic skin care.
Peterson said the Traverse City and Frankfort offices have four practitioners currently with another three in training.
“We do have some transient staff,” Peterson said of the northern Michigan locations. “Some staff stays there, it just depends on the company needs and who needs what there.”
Peterson said the merger of the four locations under one name is intended to improve access to a patient base often under-served, Peterson said. The COO estimates the Michigan Center for Holistic Medicine serves about 2,000 patients..
“Our goal is to create access to holistic medicine for the entire state of Michigan and somewhere close for everybody, too,” Peterson said. “There are not a lot of holistic providers to this (level) in the state.
“Now they have a name they can trust and business they know.”
More information about Michigan Center for Holistic Medicine is available at https://miholisticmed.com.